Democracy is one form of the government in which governing power is held indirectly by the citizens in a free and fair electoral system. Electoral process is nothing but a collective way of choosing a representative based on the closed voting system – i.e. civilized way of hiring some one (Qualified fellow citizens) to act on behalf of them in solving pressing needs and issues. In a vibrant democracy voting right is a paramount privilege that any one can own and use.
Freedom of speech and Freedom to write is the first foundation of any democratic country. If and when a country claims that it is upholding the democracy, then surely it must protect and support these two elements in each and every endeavor. “The right to freedom of speech is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The ICCPR recognizes the right to freedom of speech as “the right to hold opinions without interference.”
In recent days we hear a lot of complaints from the Indian national congress party that some of the leaders / individuals in Tamil Nadu are speaking unparliamentary words in public meetings and other social gatherings. Even few of those leaders were arrested merely “for their speech” and are serving imprisonment for the past several months. Whether it was a wise speech or gibberish talk should be decided by the people rather than few appointed officials.
Right to criticize the failed policies of former and present leaders of Indian government – Either Congress or BJP or Third front party is one of the important elements of democracy that all citizens of India can have . Curtailing and preventing the freedom of expression of an individual is the biggest sin one can blow to the democracy of India. Arresting those “Talkers” in the name of “protecting the national security” is unacceptable and unwarranted. The ruling elites are simply advancing their own power by indulging in these unlawful acts. These actions are not only undemocratic,but also truly they are unpatriotic since the Indian constitution guarantees every citizen of India to speak and write freely without any repercussion.
In a successful democratic society every individual has a stake in shaping the countrys policy – foreign or domestic and governing methods. In the recent elections in USA, people living in the state of California voted for and against same sex marriage.
Overwhelmingly they have rejected the idea and registered their voices – legal marriage should only be between male and female
“Proposition 8 was a California ballot proposition passed in the November 4, 2008, general election. It changed the state Constitution to restrict the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples and eliminated same-sex couples’ right to marry.”
It is nothing wrong to include such sensitive, hard pressing issues and questions of decision in the hands of the people. Ban on the Tamil Tigers in India are being extended every two years based on the executive orders. It is a good idea to ask people of Tamil Nadu to vote on the questions of whether
- To remove the ban on Tamil Tigers or not
- Recognize Tamil Eelam or not
In a real democracy people are the owners and the wishes of the people should be respected and fulfilled.
People should realize that change will not come on its own; instead one has to work for it. There is nothing called a FREE MEAL. When a minority Afro-American (black) Mr. Barack Obama can win the Presidency in the predominantly white country, any thing can be possible on this earth – YES, WE CAN.
A person has to elect his representative based on the character and capacity of the individual instead of the dynasty, alliance and party whom he/she represents. Each and every individual should exercise their ballot to bring the right change. Boycotting the election will only help those in power to continue the Status-Quo and eventually our fate will fall into the hands of the self-centered & family-centered politicians.
Hence, Let us all vote out undemocratic and unpatriotic elements from our country.
Written by Kandhan
An engineer by profession, Kandhan writes to promote progressive politics in India.